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Impressive mountain and bush scenery, remarkable botany and geology! Discover an ancient part of the Kahurangi National Park including the summit of Mount Gibbs while circumnavigating Mount Xenicus. Commencing at Cobb hut we explore the unique flora and fauna while tracking the valley between Mt Xenicus and Mount Gibbs before reaching the tops. The alpine vegetation varies from tussock lands and rock gardens to sub alpine forest, containing magnificent specimens of Dracophyllum traversii trees. From the Mt Gibbs summit, views of Round Lake and Island Lake abound down into the valleys while expansive mountain vistas (e.g. the Dragon’s teeth) surround. Trekking down the ridgeline we descend to the Cobb Lake while enjoying the beautiful pristine environment of this exclusive and remote location. Rare birds may include Kea, Kaka, Rock Wren, Rifleman, Pipit and Robin.
Glacier-scoured and eroded by water, the unique alpine karst landforms of the Mt Owen massif are unusual and spectacular. At 1875 metres Mt Owen is the highest peak in Kahurangi National Park and on a ﬁne day the views from this peak are magnificent. Commencing the walk at Granity Pass hut, we follow the route through a large area of tussock grassland. Tracking to the east of Sentinel Hill, through a saddle and past several small tarns, your guide will lead you up through the glaciated marble landscape and alpine herb ﬁelds to the summit. Enjoy the panoramic views which extend south to the Southern Alps and north to Golden and Tasman Bays. View ‘Lord of the Rings’ filming sites. The Owen plateau is regarded by scientists as the finest example of glacial karst (weather worn limestone), in the Southern Hemisphere. It contains the longest cave system in New Zealand. This area has many diverse varieties of alpine flora found in New Zealand. Rare bird sightings may include, Rock Wren, Kea, Falcon and Pipit.
The Mt Arthur/Cobb area has many special geological features. Nowhere else in New Zealand has such a complex series of ancient rocks been eroded into such a distinctively different landscape. The gently rolling Tableland is a remnant of a once extensive sea-level plain which stretched across New Zealand over 45 million years ago. The trek commences at Lake Peel, nestled in a cirque on the Peel Range. We then track up onto a ridge which then descends gradually to Balloon Hut and onto Salisbury Lodge. Experience the expansive tussock lands known as Salisbury’s Open, and explore local caves and other unique features with your guide. From here we continue on to Flora hut and the unique rock shelters under massive limestone blocks used historically by many explorers. Plant species typical of both the North and South Island are found within the park. This makes Kahurangi the most diverse botanical area in New Zealand. A great variety of alpine and forest birds will be seen, and hopefully the rare whio (blue duck) and the huge and carnivorous Powelliphanta snail.